The first game of the season saw the Panola College Ponies open the second half with a 42-2 run on the way to an impressive win.

Tuesday night against Tribulation Prep, they used a slightly different formula but came away with similar results in Arthur Johnson Gym.

The Ponies scored the first 21 points of the second half and held the visitors scoreless for the first 9 1/2 after the intermission.

That added up to another big lead on the way to a 100-48 win in front of the home crowd as every player that suited up scored for Panola.

The Ponies are now 2-0 on the young season, but will find a much tougher schedule over the next few weeks as four of their next five games are against nationally-ranked opponents. Panola plays No. 14 Odessa and No. 21 Clarendon over the weekend in the Metroplex before returning home for a 7 p.m. game Tuesday against the Houston Gladiators.

“It’s not always good playing these club teams, but you have to schedule who you can,” Panola Coach Aaron Smith said. “We wanted to get two wins and that’s what we did. The first real tests for our program are coming up.”

While a 21-0 run and only allowing 15 second-half points sounds like a pretty good defensive effort, it was.

But the first half was a similar start, jumping out to a 16-0 lead, allowing a 3-pointer and the scoring 10 more to open up a 26-3 edge less than five minutes into the game.

Jermaine Drewey did most of the damage early, but he didn’t come close to matching the seven 3-pointers Cameron Carson hit in the opener.

He converted a three-point play to get started, then hit four 3-pointers. He finished the contest with a game-high 18 points, five 3-pointers, and also grabbed four rebounds and three steals.

The defense also again played a big part in the win, coming up with 11 steals and forcing quite a few turnovers. Using a full-court press helped out quite a bit.

“I was pleased with how we started,” Smith said. “We made a lot of shots and that really helped propel us. The press was important because we have to keep switching defenses to keep the offense out of wack. We won’t want them getting into a rhythm.”

The Ponies hit 50 percent of their shots from the field and were a red-hit 73 percent (27 of 37) from the 3-point line.

Carson came off the bench to hit 13, Stanton Rose had 12, Chris Coley and Teddy Ochieng both had 11 and Kelyn Pennie had 10. Jerrel Kelly led the Ponies in rebounds with nine and Dominique Jackson had seven.

“Playing these back to back games against ranked-opponents will be tough,” Smith said. “Odessa has a tall front line. They go about 7-foot, 6-11, 6-10, 6-8. We’ll see where our guys are at and what we have to do to get where we need to be. These games will get us ready for our Region XIV games.”

Tags